Vinícius scores 2 to earn Madrid draw in return to Valencia since racial abuse. Bellingham gets red

BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Vinícius Júnior scored twice to lift Real Madrid to 2-2 against Valencia in the Spanish league on Saturday in his first return to Mestalla Stadium where he was racially abused last season.

Jude Bellingham earned a red card after the final whistle when he protested the referee's decision to waive off what would have been the winning goal. The referee said time expired just before Bellingham's last-gasp header.

Vinícius struck in the 50th and 76th minutes to wipe out first-half goals by Hugo Duro and Roman Yaremchuk.

Last May’s racial attack was among the worst the Black player has had to repeatedly endure in Spain. It led to an upswell of support for the Brazil forward and forced soccer authorities to take action, even though the abuse toward him has continued.

While there were no immediate reports of more racial insults at him on Saturday, a large group of spectators did chant “Vinícius is stupid” and booed him loudly throughout.

After his first goal, Vinícius held up his fist toward the Valencia fans behind the goal. After his equalizer, he cupped his ears as if asking for more from the fans who jeered him.

Madrid leads the league with a seven-point advantage over Girona and a nine-point advantage over Barcelona before they both play games on Sunday.

Valencia defender Mouctar Diakhaby was carried off on a stretcher after an apparent leg injury when Aurélien Tchouaméni crashed into him in the final minutes.

Bellingham, who leads the league with 16 goals, started for Madrid after missing three games with an ankle sprain.

SOCIEDAD LOSES

Real Sociedad lost at Sevilla 3-2 as the Basque Country club continued to struggle before it hosts Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League.

Youssef En-Nesyri scored back-to-back goals in the 11th and 13th minutes for Sevilla. After André Silva pulled one back from the penalty spot for Sociedad, Sergio Ramos added a third goal for Sevilla with a header in the 65th. Bryce Méndez scored a free kick in stoppage time for the visitors’ second goal.

The defeat left Sociedad in seventh place and losing touch with the leaders.

Sevilla rose to 14th thanks to one of its best performances in an otherwise poor season.

Sociedad hosts PSG on Tuesday needing to overturn a 2-0 first-leg loss in the round of 16.

Imanol Alguacil’s Sociedad started the season strong, but it has lost five of its last six games across all competitions. It was eliminated from the Copa del Rey semifinals by Mallorca on penalties in front of its fans in San Sebastian this week.

MAYORAL HURT

Getafe striker Borja Mayoral, who has 15 league goals, had to be substituted late in his team's 3-3 draw with Las Palmas due to an apparent left leg injury.

Getafe wasted leads of 2-0 and 3-2. Las Palmas completed its comeback with Munir El Haddadi’s decisive equalizer.

HAIL STORM

Rayo Vallecano’s 1-1 draw at home with Cadiz was paused for several minutes in the second half when hail pelted the field during a heavy rainstorm.

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AP soccer: https://apnews.com/hub/soccer

Joseph Wilson, The Associated Press